5Days4Democracy -There’s Still Time!

Tomorrow is the first official day of the Five Days for Democracy event and you can sign up now, or any time this week, to receive Monday’s email! This might be the easiest program *ever* to join but will hopefully get you thinking and taking action, which can be hard work. It’s good for us flex those decision making muscles, it’s even better to feel like you made a positive difference for yourself and others. During these five days of emails, full of things to read or watch, small actions we can take every day or once in a while, and encourage discussion, all adding a little zing to your inbox! And who doesn’t need a little zing?!

Five days. Five challenges. Five ways to strengthen your role in our democracy.

—Stacey

5Days4Democracy -Join Us!

One of the things I most appreciate about being a citizen of the United States of America? I can make a difference each time I vote! And in-between elections, I can contact elected representatives, from local to Federal, when an issue is important to me!

From Monday, September 28 to Friday, October 2, Rocky River Public Library, our fellow public library systems in Cuyahoga County, and City Club of Cleveland are asking you to participate in Five Days for Democracy—a week dedicated to spending just a little bit of time each day thinking about what democracy means to you, why it’s important, and why it’s worth fighting for.

When you sign up, you’ll receive an email each day packed with opportunities to explore different facets of our democracy, in all its aspirations and failings. From listening to a podcast to watching a video, reading an article or responding to a call to action, each day you’ll pick one challenge to complete. And maybe you’d like to start reading a little something right now, like a little prep work for the week? Check out on of the many titles suggested in the 5 Days for Democracy collection!

Five days. Five challenges. Five ways to strengthen your role in our democracy.

Sign up at Five Days for Democracy and get ready to embrace your voting power!

—Stacey

An Apple A Day, plus other foods!

Wow. How did it get to be Fall? I’m a fan of cozy sweaters, beautiful Fall foliage, new school supplies (less this year than usual -obvs), and Halloween, but I’m not ready yet… are you?

It’s here, whether any of us are ready or not, and I have decided now is a good time to match up my excessive kitchen time with seasonal foods. Take that! (I don’t know who’s taking it but it felt good to put that there. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) I need a few more apples and I can make King Arthur Baking Company’s Old Fashioned Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting (yum!) and then I”ll move along to searching for main meal options from books in the Fall Harvest collection… dessert should *always* be first!! If you have a tasty Fall recipe, please feel free to share! While I wait for ideas, maybe some soup?

-enjoy!
Stacey

Let’s Talk about Ohio

I don’t think there’s been anything really easy about this year so far and so I like to take a small win (or a rare 2020 big win!) whenever I can find one! I just finished reading Barnstorming Ohio To Understand America  by David Giffels and it’s definitely in my win column for this week!

Ohio. We are full of variety and contradictions. We are the 7th most populous state but 34th in total are; the top of the State gets incredibly cold with lots of snow and the lower half can be 10 to 20 degrees warmer with almost no snow; our economy is based on agriculture, industry, and innovative ideas; and there’s an incredible range of natural landscapes to explore. Ohioans have plenty to be proud about and issues we need to solve, but we are also an almost perfect cross-section of the U.S.A.

In Barnstorming Ohio, Mr. Giffels provides the current and historical context that helped me to understand exactly what it means to be seen as bellwether State for the Country. Having thoughtful conversations with the people who live in the “Five Ohios” (representing diverse voting communities) and offering great insights for what could be a larger, nation-wide conversation, this book was engaging, eye-opening, and easy-to-read. As we head into the 2020 General Election, you might also find this book worth checking out, and then we can chat!

(Small tangent -Did you know tomato juice is the official beverage of Ohio? Can we vote on that?)

—Stacey

Chadwick Boseman’s Gift

I hadn’t read any Black Panther comics or books and had the same amount of background knowledge of his place in the Marvel Universe as I did about Thor (ie – so very, very little) before seeing the movie based on the character. Oh. My. Gosh. The 2018 film staring Chadwick Boseman was 134 minutes of greatness!! The history and lore of Wakanda, the special effects, the serious moments mixed with humorous moments, all the surprise twists, and getting to watch Chadwick Boseman create an unforgettable, strong, vulnerable hero as King T’Challa. Mr. Boseman passed away on August 29th but his kindness, his vision of what the movie industry could be, and his long list of films, speak to the legacy of this legend, taken too soon. Thank you for all the gifts you gave to us Mr. Chadwick Boseman!

Virtual One Community Reads: Fall 2020

I’m finding it difficult to manage the intense ups and downs of this year -like pretty much *everybody* I talk to, and I feel like we all need:1) a seriously quality nap -maybe every day?, 2) more upbeat news on a regular basis, and 3) a way to contribute to the good things we see happening in the World. Maybe joining the conversations during our virtual One Community Reads helps you with at least two of the three items in the previous list?

For the second time this year all nine public library systems and our community partners in Cuyahoga County are working together to host a One Community Reads, a chance to engage and discuss timely and important topics. From August through December, you’ll be able to read a variety of books, attend virtual programs throughout Cuyahoga County, and join the conversation. And consider this -think of how easy it will be to attend an East Side or Downtown program from the comfort of your West Side couch!

A full list of events is available on OneCommunityReads.org

Events hosted by Rocky River Public Library:
Let’s Talk About Race – Presentation and Q&A
Wednesday, August 19, 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Join Dr. Ronnie Dunn, Chief Diversity Officer at Cleveland State University, for a discussion on race and racism, the Black Lives Matter movement, and policing in the United States. This was a virtual program held on Zoom. (It’s over but worth noting -imho)

Booked by the Lieutenant
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
Thursday, August 27, 6:30 -8:00 pm
Read to learn more about how guilt and fear can create defensiveness, how white fragility protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively, before joining a discussion of ideas led by Lt. George Lichman. Register at: https://bit.ly/2XN8ZcE to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.

Ida Finds Her Voice: Author Visit
For families of all ages
Tuesday, September 15, 7:00 pm
Join Kate Anderson Foley, Ph.D. and Jenifer Anderson-Smith for a reading of their book Ida Finds Her Voice and a conversation about listening to one’s inner voice. We will discuss ways to advocate for kindness and social justice. This will be an opportunity for our youth and our experienced adults to better understand how to find the hero inside ourselves. Register at: https://bit.ly/2PTqLGZ to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.

How to Talk to Your Children About Racism
Thursday, September 17, 6:30-7:30 pm
Racism is an important parenting topic that many struggle or are uncomfortable with, but these conversations are necessary in this time of bias and violence against people of color. Join Adrianne Fletcher, PhD., Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at Case Western Reserve University, for a frank discussion on how to talk to your children about race and racism. Register at: https://bit.ly/3adGIAP to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.

We Read Together, We Stand Together Beanstack Program and Discussion Group
Mondays, 7:00-8:00 pm
This new discussion group is a community collaboration that will provide students in grades 6-12 and their interested parents or guardians with an opportunity to read diverse voices and have conversations on a variety of topics. Grades 6-12 and parents/guardians. @Rocky River Public Library.

Monday, September 21, Initial Meeting to introduce participants to Beanstack suggested readings and format for future discussions. Register at: https://bit.ly/3kufXwR to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program,

Monday, October 5 Topic: African American Voices Register at: https://bit.ly/31F6WZ7 to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program,

Monday, October 19 Topic: Social Injustice and Voting Rights Register at: https://bit.ly/2XKYzuc to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.

Monday, November 2 Topic: Poverty and Homelessness Register at: https://bit.ly/3afxqEp to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.

Monday, November 16 Topic: Native American Voices Register at: https://bit.ly/3fMxDjQ to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.

Monday, December 7 Topic: Diverse Abilities Register at: https://bit.ly/3fINJLm to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.

Monday, December 21 Topic: Asian American Voices Register at: https://bit.ly/3gJTXM8 to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.

Adult Rocky River Readers Book Club
Aperiogon by Colum McCann
Thursday, October 8, 7:00 – 8:00 pm
This novel is based on the real-life friendship of two men, an Israeli and a Palestinian. Bonded over the experience of losing a child to war, these fathers decide to use their grief as a weapon for peace. Register at: https://bit.ly/3kH7XZE to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.

An Outrage: Film Discussion with Dr. Gilbert Doho
Wednesday, October 14, 7:00-8:00 pm
Dr. Gilbert Doho, Head of the Ethnic Studies Department of Case Western Reserve University will moderate a remote discussion on the film An Outrage by Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren, a film addressing the history of lynching in the U.S. Register at: https://bit.ly/3iwHr3h to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.
Celebrate Multicultural Diversity Day
For all ages
Monday, October 19, 4:00-4:45 pm
Join us virtually as we share multicultural books, songs, rhymes, activities, and other resources that reflect the diversity of our community. Register online to receive an invitation to join this event. Participants will be able to pick up a packet prior to the program with directions and materials to use during the program. Register at: https://bit.ly/3ab32eD to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.

Booked by the Lieutenant
Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer L. Eberhardt, PhD
Wednesday, November 4, 7:00–8:30 pm
Read to learn more about unconscious racial bias through the author’s personal stories, her research, and learn strategies to address one of the central controversies of our time before joining a discussion of ideas led by Lt. George Lichman. Register at: https://bit.ly/3kvVrvH to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.

Observe World Kindness Day
For all ages
Friday, November 13, 11:00-11:45 am
Help us make the world a better place by promoting acts of good kindness through stories, songs, crafts, and other activities that can be shared with others in the community. Register online to receive an invitation to join this event. Participants will be able to pick up a packet prior to the program with directions and materials to use during the program. Register at: https://bit.ly/2F3u386 to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.

Novel Scares Book Discussion
The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
Thursday, November 12, 7:00 -8:00 pm
After a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives, four American Indian men are tracked by an entity bent on revenge in this blending of classic horror and sharp social commentary. Registration required. Register at: https://bit.ly/2FcUqZx to receive a link to the Zoom meeting a few days before the program.

-Stacey

Imagine Your Story -with a new recipe?

From the conversations I’ve been having, I know I’m not the only one suffering from cooking boredom. I’ve got my tried and true meals that I’ve relied on to make things a little easier right now, but I’m ready to try something else now. I’ve been looking at some of the cookbooks and some food science books (oddly intriguing) available as ebooks for inspiration, and then thought…. hmm, maybe it would be helpful to share a list? And so, What’s for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner collection came into being. If you find something you really enjoy (a recipe OR a whole book) please -feel free to share!

take care of yourselves!
—Stacey

Imagine Your Story -The Honorable John Lewis

U.S. Representative from the 5th Congressional District of Georgia, The Honorable John Lewis, passed away Friday, July 17. The positive impact Congressman Lewis had on America, with his words and actions, have helped shape America into a better place to live. His personal story is powerful and his leadership is inspirational. If you’d like to learn more about The Honorable John Lewis, please consider watching John Lewis: Get in the Way on PBS, read his book Across that Bridge, or his story in March: book one, March: book two, March: book three in a graphic novel format, or a simple biography, John Lewis, you want something you can share with a younger reader. Mr. Lewis, we thank you for decades of service on behalf of us all and we miss you already.

Take care everyone
—Stacey

Imagine Your Story -A Memoir?

I’m taking some Liberties (future pun intended) and encouraging you to think about what your future memoir will contain… Will you be able to say you made sure you were counted in the 2020 Census? (If you haven’t you still can at: 2020 Census) Will you be able to say you made sure you could vote by requesting a mail-in ballot? (If you haven’t you still can from Cuyahoga Board of Elections or check the United States Government site for your local Board of Elections to request a ballot!)  Oh, you did all of that already? Good! I did too!  And now that we’ve fulfilled our Civic Duty toward the Life and Liberty part of Declaration of Independence, we can enjoy the Pursuit of Happiness by sitting back, relaxing, and listening to the Essential Bill Withers while we upcycle some lightly tattered clothes and look at interesting Summertime recipes (so we can avoid the oven)!

It’s good to plan ahead, isn’t it? Stay cool my friends!
—Stacey

Imagine Your Story -Variety Pack

You know how sometimes (or fairly often) it can be hard to settle down and read? I’ve found a variety pack of options to entertain myself, and maybe some of these ideas will appeal to you as well…

Magazines! From HGTV to Gourmet to bite sized articles in How it Works that help me learn something new, I’ve been enjoying flicking those pages until something catches my eye.

I’ve also been reading from the Diverse Voices for Younger Readers collection. I 100% think books for teens and younger readers can be as good -or better!- than adult books as they tell stories that are compelling but tend to be shorter (aka don’t get bogged down in wordy, unnecessary extras). Why not give it a try?

Sometimes I just listen to music while I clean or do some crafting…

But if you want to be ambitious? You could join me in the Great Courses Myth in Human History and -so far, so good!! And then I have an eye on How to Make Stress Work for You….

I hope one of these choices sounds appealing and gives you something new to try!

—Stacey